NDI Consulting, Inc.
The National Technical Assistance and Training Provider for the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI), is a women-owned small business dedicated to advancing the employment and economic self-sufficiency of individuals across the full spectrum of disabilities nationwide. NDI Consulting principals have nationally recognized reputations for material development and dissemination, training and technical assistance activities that have set the highest standard for quality and satisfaction across diverse target audiences including government at all levels: the employer and business community, community and faith-based organizations, and person with disabilities and their families.
NDI Technical Assistance Team:
Michael Morris Project Director
Michael Morris, J.D. has over 25 years of experience in research, knowledge translation and system change activities advancing community participation and economic self-sufficiency for individuals across the full spectrum of disabilities. His undergraduate degree, political science with honors, is from Case Western University, and his law degree is from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, GA. In 1981, Morris was named the first Joseph P. Kennedy Fellow in Public Policy and worked for Connecticut Senator Lowell Weicker as legal counsel to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy. He next served as counsel to the United States Senate Small Business Committee. Morris then worked at United Cerebral Palsy Associations for fourteen years, culminating in his serving as National Executive Director.
For the past ten years, Michael Morris has lead research, training, and technical assistance activities to increase our knowledge and understanding of effective and meaningful participation of jobseekers with disabilities in the Workforce Investment System. With federally funded projects from the US Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, Morris has focused on improving cross-system relationships that individualize supports and services and improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. He led the technical assistance activities for the Disability Program Navigators and continues to focus on policy barriers and facilitators to advance economic self-sufficiency for persons across the full spectrum of disabilities.
In 2003, Morris became project director for the NIDRR-funded Asset Accumulation and Tax Policy Project, and for five years served as lead policy expert on systems collaboration, informing research design and implementation. In 2005, Morris helped establish the National Disability Institute to advance the social and economic independence of persons with disabilities. He is the co-founder of the Real Economic Impact Tour (REI Tour), which in 2009, resulted in new access and use of EITC and other asset building strategies for over 200,000 individuals with disabilities in 83 cities nationwide. To date, the REI Tour has helped low-income taxpayers with disabilities receive more than 600 million dollars in tax refunds. The REI Tour is co-sponsored by Bank of America, AT&T, and the Wal-Mart Foundation in partnership with the IRS. Morris has co-authored numerous relevant publications including Tax Credits and Asset Accumulation: Findings from the 2004 NOD Harris Survey of Americans with Disabilities published in Disabilities Studies Quarterly (2005) as well as for the National Council on Disability's The State of 21st Century Financial Incentives for Americans with Disabilities (22008).
Laura Gleneck Project Coordinator
Laura Gleneck is Founder and Vice President of NDI Consulting, Inc. a women-owned for profit small business, and serves as the Program Manager for the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) National Technical Assistance Team contracted by the United States Department of Labor and has served in this capacity for both the Work Incentive Grants (WIG) and the Disability Program Navigator (DPN) Initiative since 2001. In her capacity as Program Manager, she serves as the lead coordinator of the key technical assistance staff, manages material development, coordinates all training and technical assistance activities, produces the American Job Center Toolkit Resources of the Week, and works closely with the national DEI Program Office. Since the WIG grants, she has served as the key staff person with expertise on transportation and other community resources for work support. Prior to joining the national Technical Assistance team, Ms. Gleneck served as the project coordinator for federal projects with a focus on inclusion of youth with disabilities in transition and participation in community and employment for the National Parent Network on Disabilities for five years. Ms. Gleneck has a Master's degree in Child Study from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development from Tufts University in Medford, MA and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In 2000, Ms. Gleneck completed a Continuing Education Professional Writing Course at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.
Technical Assistance Liaisons:
Brian Ingram Technical Assistance Liaison
Integrated Resource Team and Partnership and Collaboration Expert
Brian Ingram has been working in the fields of disability and employment for over 15 years, focusing on issues of access to the Workforce Investment Act services for customers with disability and other challenges to employment at a center, regional, state, and national level since 2000. Under the Disability Program Navigator (DPN) initiative, he served as both a Navigator and a state lead. In 2006, Brian was instrumental in introducing the IRT approach regionally as a model in Oregon to coordinate services and supports at a customer level allowing for the enrollment of customers with disability and multiple challenges to employment into WIA intensive services. Mr. Ingram, who is known as a national expert on the Integrated Resource Team approach and on working with partners within and outside of the workforce system to leverage and blend and braid funds and resources around an individual job seeker with multiple challenges to employment, serves as the NDI team's subject matter expert in these areas. A DPN Promising Practice video and information brief, Disability Program Navigators: Making the Connections For Job Seekers with Disabilities, highlight the work that Mr. Ingram was instrumental in implementing throughout the workforce system in Oregon. Brian has a Bachelor's of Arts in English Literature from Portland State University.
Danielle "DJ" Ralston Technical Assistance Liaison
Danielle "DJ" Ralston started her career in the public workforce investment system as a WIA Case Manager and One-Stop Career Center staff member. Prior to joining the National Disability Institute Ms. Ralston served as both a Disability Program Navigator (DPN) and the state project lead for the Alaska DPN project. As the DPN project lead, Ms. Ralston was responsible for planning, implementing, organizing, and directing the work of five Na vigators across the state including developing and delivering training for Navigators. As the DPN project lead, Ms. Ralston worked closely with multiple state partners to promote sustainability through collaboration, integration and systemic change through leveraging available programs, resources and funding streams available to people with disabilities. Since joining the National Disability Institute, she has provided training and technical assistance around multiple topics through webinar series as well as one-on-one technical assistance to project grantees. In addition to having direct experience and detailed knowledge of the state and national workforce investment systems, Ms. Ralston brings with her experience in building relationships and collaborating with state and local level partners to promote asset development opportunities for people with disabilities. Ms. Ralston completed her undergraduate studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio and has a Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling from Western Washington University.
Mary Lynn ReVoir Technical Assistance Liaison
Ticket to Work and Employment Network Specialist
Mary Lynn ReVoir, brings 30 years of experience working in the disability community to the NDI team. In 2003, Ms. ReVoir joined the workforce system as a Disability Navigator, and then had the privilege of serving as the Iowa State Lead Navigator from 2005 to 2011. Under this lead role, she sought expertise in the Ticket to Work program and on behalf of seven state agencies led the effort for the State Partners in becoming an approved Employment Network. This activity included the development of an infrastructure and coordination to create a responsive delivery system that has resulted in successful outcomes for Iowan's obtaining employment. Her work in this area has been recognized as a national model in the workforce system. During 2011 and 2012, she served as Senior Account Manager for the Operations Support Manager of the Ticket to Work program, specifically delivering technical assistance to the workforce community. A passion to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, Ms. ReVoir spent 18 years priors to her presence in the public workforce system, as the Executive Director of a private service provider from 1987 to 2003. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Miranda Kennedy Technical Assistance Liaison
Miranda Kennedy has extensive experience working on employment issues for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment at the local, state and national level within the United States public workforce system. Ms. Kennedy's expertise is in the areas of researching and analyzing policy issues, as well as developing and implementing promising practices across states, in the areas of youth in transition, workforce development, employment, entrepreneurship, asset development, assistive technology, community participation and inclusion. In her work with the National Disability Institute (NDI), Ms. Kennedy serves as the national training coordinator and as a technical assistance liaison for the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) funded in 2010 by the United States Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Additionally, Ms. Kennedy serves as a research project coordinator for Syracuse University's Burton Blatt Institute working with the public workforce system and its partners through "New York Makes Work Pay" (NYMWP) the New York state Medicaid Infrastructure Grant to expand New York's capacity to support individuals with disabilities with a desire to work; build comprehensive, cross-agency, sustainable, coordinated systems of support and services to advance employment for people across the full spectrum of disabilities; and, support the goal of removing barriers to employment and create lasting improvements for New Yorkers with disabilities. Ms. Kennedy received a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the University of Denver's Institute for Public Policy Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Subject Matter Experts:
Elizabeth Jennings Subject Matter Expert
Asset Development/Ticket to Work
Elizabeth Jennings is an Associate with National Disability Institute in Washington, DC and The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. Ms. Jennings is a national consultant on asset development strategies for persons with disabilities and the building of expanded relationships between the disability and asset building communities. Her varied experience includes spearheading an Asset Development initiative in Florida, creating collaborative agreements, building partnerships, executing grant allocations, and assisting individuals in understanding the effect of work on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits. Ms. Jennings currently works on asset building strategies for individuals with disabilities throughout the State of New York, provides training on the impact of work on Social Security benefits and provides technical assistance to entities interested in becoming employment networks under the Ticket to Work legislation. Ms. Jennings, for the purpose of the DEI grant, serves as a subject matter expert on Asset Development and Ticket. Ms. Jennings has a Bachelor's of Art in Sociology and minors in Black Studies and Women's Studies from Florida State University.
Kevin Nickerson Subject Matter Expert
Ticket to Work/Employment Networks
Kevin Nickerson has worked for Challenge, a non-profit rehabilitation agency in Ithaca, New York for the last 15 years. Mr. Nickerson established Challenge as an Employment Network (EN) in the Ticket to Work program in 2001, assigned the first Ticket in New York State to a private EN, and recently assisted Challenge in becoming the 2nd EN nationally to claim a 60th Outcome Payment through the Ticket to Work program. Additionally, they have been included in a national publication, promoted by Maximus, the Program Manager of the Ticket to Work program, as an agency utilizing best practices. He is a current member of the Ticket to Work Ambassadors Bureau, a resource for agencies establishing and operating Employment Networks, and has been identified as one of four One-Stop / EN pilot sites by SSA and CESSI, providing guidance to other One-Stops interested in becoming an EN. Mr. Nickerson also works for the Burton Blatt Institute as a consultant focusing on the New York Medicaid Infrastructure Grant; including assisting Workforce Development Areas and other human services agencies in the implementation and understanding of Employment Network operations through Social Security's Ticket to Work program. Mr. Nickerson is also working closely with the Kay Center for E-Health Research, Claremont University, CA, in developing tools that will improve the ability of Employment Networks to track payments and relevant Ticket holder demographics. Kevin currently holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology.
Sharon Brent Subject Matter Expert
Social Security Work Incentives
Sharon Brent is a national expert on multiple Federal policy issues related to the employment and self-determination that improves economic status of youth in transition and adult individuals with disabilities. She is Founder and President of NDI Consulting, Inc. a women owned For Profit Small Business, and Director of Training and Technical Assistance and Grants Management for the National Disability Institute. Her expertise is in youth and adult issues regarding employment, housing, health care, asset development, Social Security programs (certified) (WIPA), DOL (DPN), HUD, and CMS (MIG) programs. Ms. Brent has over twenty years of experience as an accomplished public speaker, curriculum developer, trainer, and advocate for people with disabilities. Ms. Brent has developed curriculum for Benefits Training specific to Federal and State programs related to employment of people who are receiving SSA Benefits and State Medicaid Health Insurance, Food Stamps, Section 8 housing subsidies, IDA's, and other local programs for individuals who fall into the low income category who want to become or are already employed. As a parent of a 35-year-old son with Cerebral Palsy, Ms. Brent has the ability to apply personal as well as professional knowledge that provides credibility and technical information to a full range of stakeholders. She is clear that knowledge is power and all stakeholders need the same information to create an equal partnership that will advance economic empowerment for people with disabilities.